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Faculty Leaders

Marisa Galvez

associate professor of French and by courtesy, of German Studies

Marisa Galvez, PhD '07, is an associate professor of French and, by courtesy, of German Studies. She specializes in medieval French literature and culture, and her areas of interest include the troubadours, vernacular poetics, the intersection of performance and literary cultures, and the critical history of medieval studies as a discipline. At Stanford, she currently teaches courses on medieval and Renaissance French literature and love lyric, as well as interdisciplinary upper level courses on the medieval imaginary in modern literature, film and art. She also currently serves on the Executive Committee for Division of Comparative Medieval Studies of the Modern Language Association and co-directs the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Stanford.

Her recent book, Songbook: How Lyrics Became Poetry in Medieval Europe (University of Chicago Press, 2012), treats what poetry was before the emergence of the modern category, “poetry”: that is, how vernacular songbooks of the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries shaped our modern understanding of poetry by establishing expectations of what is a poem, what is a poet, and what is lyric poetry itself. This book was awarded the 2016 John Nicholas Brown Prize by the Medieval Academy of America for the best first book on a medieval subject. She is currently working on a book entitled The Subject of Crusade: Penitential Poetics in Vernacular Lyric and Romance that examines how the crusader subject of vernacular literature sought to reconcile secular ideals about love and chivalry with crusade. This study places this literature in dialogue with new ideas about penance and confession that emerged from the second half of the twelfth century to the end of the thirteenth.

Professor Galvez is working on a multi-year project, Performing Trobar, which seeks to cultivate, historicize and compare the experience of troubadour lyrics in literary and performative modes. In exposing students and the Stanford community to the rich aural and verbal texture of the medieval world, Performing Trobar seeks to animate our engagement with medieval lyric both as a philological artifact and as a vernacular art that continues to be translated before various audiences around the world.


-- John Nicholas Brown Prize, 2016

-- Internal Faculty Fellow, Stanford Humanities Center, 2012-13

-- Charles Bernheimer Prize, 2008

-- Geballe Dissertation Prize Fellowship, Stanford Humanities Center, 2006-07

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